Heritage Middle Staff Newsletter

December 2016

Overall Positive Feedback from December 2nd Early Release

Many PLTs expressed their happiness to have the time to work on items that needed to be worked on. The Admin team and I overheard rich discussions to best meet students’ needs - whether it was about rearranging units to improve content flow, exploring iReady and how to implement it in the classroom, or unpacking standards.

Meet Two of Our Patriots

Gwen Hicks, 1:1 TA in AU III

I am a Richmond, Virginia native and a graduate of Virginia State University with a BA in Sociology. After graduation, my husband Donald and I were married. We have a daughter, Keely who lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and our grandson. Our son, Leland lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I worked a few years as a Social Worker, but due to relocating throughout the country for my husband's career, I often worked as a substitute teacher or was a stay at home mom. I became a TA at Frankie Lemmon Preschool for children with special needs when I became an empty-nester. My move to Wake County Public Schools was in 2009 as a one-on-one TA, which continues with my second student. Disabilities led me to TA positions and special education, where I found my love of the students to be indescribable. When not working, I am active in my church and my sorority. My quiet past-time activities include Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, and children's crafts. Thank you Heritage Middle School for being so welcoming.

Tequila Gilmore, Testing Center/Essentials TA

I have lived in the area since my senior year of high school, and graduated from NC State. I have a great husband and four beautiful children. I have worked in the county at two different schools (East Millbrook and Durant Road) before arriving to Heritage Middle.

Tech Revelation

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Jenn Kramer and I recently attended the WCPSS ITLMS Convergence conference where the keynote speaker, George Couros (follow him on Twitter @gcouros) empowered educators to change their mindset and create relevant learning experiences. What is your current mindset toward technology? Think about this picture - some people look at this technology as a distraction but I challenge you to view it as opportunity.

Need some BYOD inspiration?

Aticila Mormando, an 8th grade science teacher at Mills Park Middle, explains in Pure Magazine how BYOD has motivated her students to think critically and work collaboratively. She writes how her classes use Google Apps effectively, which connects her students to real-world applications. Read about her excitement for BYOD and how her science classes uses their technology to research and defend biotechnology.


iReady Professional Learning...at our school!

The county has created sessions for instructional leaders and classroom teachers to dig deeper into iReady reports including: Class Profile, Instructional Grouping Profile, and Student Profile. Participants will also learn about the resources available to support students. If interested, you only need to come to one session, and there's going to be a session at HMS!

  • January 9th at Wendell Middle 3:30-5:00 SRN17955601
  • January 10th at Heritage Middle 3:30-5:00 SRN17955602
  • January 17th at East Cary Middle 3:30-5:00 SRN17955603
  • January 24th at North Garner Middle 3:30-5:00 SRN17955604

Dynamic Learning Experiences Pulse Check - Certified Staff

The Pulse Check is a short survey (15-20 minutes) focused in the following key areas: leadership and culture, learner agency, social and emotional learning, digital learning and the “4Cs”. It is designed to provide a snapshot of the current knowledge and practices in these areas and to serve as a guide to focus our professional development efforts. The Pulse Check is anonymous, hosted by NCSU (not recording WCPSS IDs), and cannot be traced back to individuals. This survey should be completed no later than January 30, 2017. You can access the survey here.

Application Open for NC Teacher Voice Network 2017 Cohort

Hope Street Group, the nonpartisan, nonprofit that connects classroom teachers with their peers and decision-makers across North Carolina and nationally, will begin recruiting its next cohort of North Carolina Teacher Voice Network leaders on Jan. 16.

Hope Street Group staff, along with current Network leaders, will host a short informational webinar on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m., so teachers can hear about Hope Street Group's work firsthand and prepare to apply before the Feb. 10 deadline. (The live session will be recorded for later viewing.)

The Teacher Voice Network program is carefully designed to develop the competencies of great teachers, providing them with tools to engage their colleagues and generate solutions to education challenges. To date, participants have met with state and federal legislators, attended regional and national educator convenings and been featured in several publications. NC Teacher Voice Network leaders are teachers or instructional coaches who remain in their schools full-time and contribute 10-15 hours each month to Hope Street Group activities including data collections, professional learning sessions and partner meetings. They receive a $3,000 stipend for the 12-month fellowship, with the opportunity to extend into a second year to deepen their work. If you have any questions about the NC Teacher Voice Network, please contact Katharine Correll (katharine@hopestreetgroup.org).

Content Updates

  • ALL math teachers need to be enrolled in the Canvas course
  • Re-teaching videos are now located on a Canvas site that students will need to self-enroll to view the videos.


  • Check out the new and improved CMAPP for third quarter. Check for new lessons that integrate 4 Cs, real world applications, and literacy opportunities.

Social Studies

  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd quarter unit guides have been updated. See the new resources and template:
6th Grade

7th Grade

8th Grade

  • Edna Graham appreciates any thematic unit feedback; sign up for a session.
6th Grade

7th and 8th Grade

Discipline and Testing Data

Click on the link to view discipline and testing data for the month of December.

When is the building open?

The building will be open to staff on December 22nd from 6:30 am - 3 pm before the cleaners start to work on classrooms later that evening. Mr. Diedrichs says the floors should be finished by the 27th, therefore the building will be open the 28th- 30th 7:00 am - 3:30 pm for anyone who wishes to work. He will send an email with any changes.

Holiday Closings for WCPSS Administrative Buildings

The administrative buildings and all satellite work sites will be closed for the Winter Break beginning on Friday, December 23 and will reopen on Monday, January 2.

January Calendar of Events for HMS

January 3: Welcome back from Holiday Break Tracks 1, 2, and 3

January 3: PTA Board Meeting at 7:00 pm

January 5: Home Basketball Game vs. East Wake at 4:00 pm

January 9: Leadership Meeting in Media Center at 3:30 pm

January 9: HMS Basketball at Zebulon

January 9: PTA Spirit Night at Subway, 4:00 - 9:00 pm

January 10: iReady Reports and Resources session in Media Center at 3:30 pm

January 10: End of Year Awards Names from 1st Semester due to Sherrie

January 12: Home Basketball Game vs. Wake Forest at 4:00 pm

January 14: Science Olympiad Competition at Museum of Science, 8:30 am - 3:00 pm

January 16: MLK Holiday, No School

January 17-19: Mid-Year iReady Diagnostic Testing, Tracks 1-3

January 17: Home Basketball Game vs. Wendell at 4:00 pm

January 19: HMS Basketball at Rolesville

January 20: Early Release at 12:35 pm, Happy track out Track 3

January 23: Welcome Back Track 4, Department Meetings at 3:30 pm

January 23: HMS Basketball at East Wake

January 25-26: Mid-Year iReady Diagnostic Testing, Track 4

January 26: Home Basketball Game vs. Zebulon at 4:00 pm

January 27: Character Ed Breakfast in Auditorium

January 30: HMS Basketball at Wake Forest

WCPSS Employee Discounts

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